Always dedicated to new and exiting drama, Minotaur Theatre Company is proud to present the winner of its first annual New Writing Competition, Coffee and Cropped Laurels by Joe Wright.
In 1742, Dr Jonathan Swift - the great man of satirical verse and political venom, the esteemed Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin - has lost his mind, locking himself away in the anteroom of his parlour. A Commission of Lunacy, backed by his greatest critics and enemies, has been appointed to investigate whether he should be declared of 'unsound mind' and locked away in Bedlam for his remaining days. His name, his legacy and his freedom are at stake.
For John Lyon, an orphaned boy from probincial Ireland, it is both an hour and a curse to judge the fate of a man regarded by many as the nation's greatest champion. Over a small coffee pot in the tiny deanery room, Swfit recounts the story of his life to Lyon - his time in Ireland, his career in London with Alexander Pope and the Queen's Court, his deanship in Dublin - as if he were a character in his most famous work, Gulliver's Travels. It seems that his insanity is absolute; but Swift's story, just like his works, has an unnerving way of challenging and changing what you know to be normal.
There may yet be evidence enough to save him from the humiliation of Bedlam. By Lyon, it seems, has an agenda of his own...
by Joe Wright
COFFEE AND CROPPED LAURELS
the Dean - James Anderson
the Drapier - Eliot Ruocco-Trenouth
the Traveller - Jon Cobb
Dr John Lyon - Tom Moran
Martha Whiteway - Tina Baston
Stella - Naomi Richardson
Vanessa - Cicely Long
Rev. Francis Smedley - Elliot Hughes
Rebecca Dingley - Emily Holt
Alexander Pope - Edward Dyer
Dr John Arbuthnot - Tom Eaton
John Gay/Patrick - Ali Dunk
Duchess of Somerset/Hetty - Amy Cornwell
Sir William Temple/Lord Oxford - Josh Allan
Lord Bolingbroke - George Ronayne
Production Manager: Kelly Tweddell
Stage Manager: Sarah Francis
Set & Lighting Design: Shona O'Leary
Costume & Make-up: Sophie Wright
Script Editor: Nicholas Aldrich